Kristina Rienzi is a Jersey Shore thriller author, leadership/development coach, and the President of Sisters in Crime-Central Jersey. A workaholic who dreams beyond big, Kristina encourages others to embrace the unknown through her stories. When she’s not writing or drinking wine, Kristina is spoiling her fur-beasts, watching The Twilight Zone, singing (and dancing) to Yacht Rock Radio or rooting for the West Virginia Mountaineers. She believes in all things paranormal, a closet full of designer bags, manicures, the Law of Attraction, aliens, angels, and the value of a graduate degree in psychology.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many books have you written?
Here’s the list in order of my most recent work:
Breaking Evil: Ensouled Series, Book 2
Twisted: A Short Story Collection
To Preserve, Protect and Defend: A Twisted Short Story
Again: A Twisted Short Story
Train Girl: A Twisted Short Story
Luring Shadows: Happy Endings Resort Series, (standalone) Book 7
Choosing Evil: Ensouled Series, Book 1
2. Do you outline or free write your stories?
A little bit of both. Plotting helps me with the mystery elements in my stories. I’m not married to plotting, though. I create the general story premise and potential conflicts, and then I let the characters lead. When I plot too tightly, I get stuck in the rigidity of the story. On the flipside, when I don’t plot enough, I get lost along the way. A healthy balance of both, along with a boatload of flexibility, works best for me.
3. Is there a central theme to your books, or all they all different?
Each story I write has its own message and lesson to be learned. But if I had to pick one theme to apply to all of them, I’d say it would be my tagline: Embrace the Unknown.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what I’m writing. Short stories are in my blood, I’ve been writing them all of my life, even before I began writing professionally. With a short, I can get a story done in less than one week. Of course, I’ll spend the next month editing it, but it’s a fairly quick writing process. For a novella, I can write the first draft in a month or two, and with a month plus of revisions and edits, it takes approximately three months. Now, a novel is entirely a different animal. It takes about three to six months to write the first draft, and then several months of heavy revising and editing. All in all, it’s about one year from start to finish.
5. Do you have a publisher or are you self-published?
Both! The Ensouled Series (Choosing Evil & Breaking Evil) is with Frost Books. The rest of my work is with my publishing company, Indigo Hawk Group. I like to have my hands in all pots when it comes to publishing. There are advantages and disadvantages to all choices and the way I see it, I’m getting the best of both worlds.
6. How do I get a signed copy of one of your books?
Just fill out this form and I’ll drop them in the mail to you.
7. What are you working on now?
A domestic thriller called The Serial Killer’s Wife.
8. Who is your favorite author?
Oh, there are just so many! If I had to pick those at the very top of my list, I’d say, Stephen King, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, Lisa Scottoline, Jonathan Maberry, Karin Slaughter, Harlan Coben, Jenny Milchman, and Ania Ahlborn. I admire thought-provoking, unique storytelling.
9. What’s your advice to new writers?
Turn off your internal editor and just write. Get the words down, write your terrible first draft, and then rewrite it a few more times until it’s readable. Share it with a professional writer or editor who will be honest, and then do whatever is needed to make it the best book you can write right now. Most importantly, no matter what anyone says, never give up.
10. Tell me a random non-writing related fact about yourself.
I’m a B-Horror movie junkie. The more ridiculous and gory the film, the better.